Syria killed 33 Turkish soldiers a day. How can we go?

 Syria killed 33 Turkish soldiers a day. How can we go?

Syrian government forces and Turkish forces clashed again on the 27th. Syrian government forces have killed 33 Turkish soldiers in the northwestern province of Idlib, the biggest day since the Turkish military intervened in Syria in 2016.

The Turkish army immediately used air force and ground artillery to attack the Syrian army, and entered a state of high alert.

Analysts believe that the tensions between Turkey and Syria have escalated again, and there is a risk of expanding the conflict in the future, but it is unlikely that a large-scale war will break out.

Turkey retaliates

Khatami DOA, the governor of khathai Province, said on NTV television Tuesday that Syrian government troops attacked the Turkish army in Idlib Province on the night of the 27th, killing 33 Turkish soldiers.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held an emergency security meeting in the presidential palace on the evening of the 27th, which agreed to fight back against Syrian government forces. Turkey has used its air and ground fire support forces to launch attacks on all known targets of Syrian government forces, the Information Office of the Turkish presidential government said in a statement in the early morning of the 28th.

On February 15, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in Istanbul that Turkey has no intention of invading or annexing Syrian territory, but asked Syrian government troops to withdraw from the observation point set up by Turkey in Syria. Xinhua Social Development Bureau (picture provided by Turkish presidential office)

Omar Chelik, spokesman of Turkeys ruling Justice and development party, said on the same day that Turkey would start consultations with NATO from the 28th, because Syrias attack on Turkey is also an attack on NATO, and Turkey is defending NATOs southern border.

Turkey will no longer prevent Syrian refugees from entering Europe, a senior Turkish official said.

United Nations Secretary General Guterres then called on all parties to cease fire immediately in the north-west of Syria, and expressed special concern about the risks to civilians caused by the upgraded military action, if no urgent action is taken, the risk of further escalation of the situation increases every hour.

The possibility of large-scale war is small

Recently, Syria and Turkey have not had the first positive conflict, and the situation in Idlib has become more complicated.

Tang Zhichao, director of the Political Research Office of the West Asia and Africa Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, believes that there is uncertainty in the current situation. Syrian government forces and Turkey may reach a ceasefire again, but further retaliatory military actions will not be ruled out.

However, Tang said that the Syrian government has Russias support, while Turkey lacks international support, especially the support of the United States and Europe. The United States has made it clear that it is not willing to be involved in military conflicts, nor is Europe willing to help Turkey resist Russia. Therefore, it is unlikely that there will be a large-scale war between Turkey and Syria.

This is a picture of Syrian government forces in maretnuman, Idlib Province, Syria, on January 28. Shen Jizhong

In addition, in addition to the Syrian northwest front, Turkey also has a front in Libya. It is difficult for the Turkish government to maintain two fronts at the same time.

Tang Zhichao said that the crux of Turkey Syrias struggle in Idlib lies in Turkeys support for extremist forces and anti-government forces in Idlib and other places, and its attempt to establish a state within a state; while the Syrian government forces and their supporters Russias aim to recover Idlib and fight against extremist forces has become the biggest obstacle to the Syrian war and the settlement of Syrian problems.

If Turkey and Syria want to achieve a ceasefire, the key lies in whether Turkey can effectively restrain the extreme forces of Idlib.

Political solution is the fundamental means

Since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis in 2011, under the interference of external forces, the internal contradictions in Syria have been intensified, and the Syrian people have been trapped in a deep humanitarian crisis.

The Syrian conflict should not be solved by military means. Only a political solution is the fundamental means to meet the interests of the Syrian people and improve the humanitarian situation in Syria.

This is a young boy photographed in a refugee camp near Idlib Province on February 27. Reuters development

As Wu Haitao, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, said at the open meeting of the Security Council on Syrias humanitarian issues on the 27th, the issue of terrorist forces occupying Idlib, systematically harming civilians, journalists and medical workers, and foreign terrorist fighters is particularly prominent, which has become a major obstacle to Syrias restoration of peace and stability. According to the resolution of the Security Council and international law, the safe haven established by terrorist forces in Syria should be eradicated. China supports all parties concerned to continue to seek a comprehensive and long-term solution to the Idlib issue through dialogue and negotiation.

Background link

Since the crisis broke out in Syria in 2011, the Turkish army has been supporting Syrian opposition forces.

Syrias northwest Idlib province borders on Turkey, and is the last major territory controlled by Syrian opposition forces and extremist organizations of various factions in Syria.

In September 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reached an agreement in Sochi. The two sides decided to establish a demilitarized zone in Idlib province to separate Syrian government forces from opposition forces.

According to the Sochi agreement, Turkey has set up 12 observation points in Idlib in the name of monitoring the ceasefire, and urged the opposition to withdraw from the demilitarized zone. However, the opposition forces did not withdraw as scheduled, the military conflict in Idlib continued to escalate, the humanitarian crisis continued to intensify, and the Sochi agreement gradually became a dead letter.

Since December last year, Syrian government forces have launched a new round of military operations in Idlib, constantly recovering lost land. Recently, the Syrian government army and the Turkish army have had a head-on conflict in Idlib.

(function() {(window. Slotbydup = window. Slotbydup| []). Push ({ID: u5811557, container: ssp_, async: true});}) (); source of this paper: responsible editor of Xinhua News Agency: Luo Chongwei